How Long Does It Take for Facelift Scars to Mostly Disappear?

Doctor Answers 18

Facelift Scars

The scar healing process will vary among people. It usually takes about 3 months for the redness to resolve. The scars will continue to mature for 12-18 months. If you are unhappy with your scars after a year or so it best to speak with your surgeon about your options to improve the appearance of the scars.

Healing time of facelift scars

The healing process is quite variable depending upon the patient’s skin type present. Darker and oilier skin tends to take longer to heal and stays red for a longer period of time. Fitzpatrick I and II type skin tends to heal much quicker, usually within a two to three month period of time following a facelift.  

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Facelift scars- time to fading

Scars generally are considered mature at 6 months, but in actuality continue to mature for another 1 1/2 years, becoming less visible over time.

Anchored facelift scars will appear to fade more quickly than scars that are not buried around the earlobe and inside the tragus. 

When reviewing before and after pictures, the astute patient will want to study ears very carefully for signs of pulling down of earlobes and pulling forward of the tragus, as well as hairline alterations.  Hair worn down or large earrings covering the after results make it difficult for patients to assess a surgeon's work.

For these reasons, the skill of the facelift surgeon is immediately obvious and therefore highly prized.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Scars After Facelift

Scarring after a facelift is essentially unavoidable and will always be somewhat apparent if you know where to look. An experienced surgeon will strategically place the incisions for your facelift in areas that will be the least evident. For many women, this means that much of your scarring could potentially be covered by hair. In general, however, scars naturally fade with time for the first couple years, with the greatest progress seen after the first six months. Scars can also be further lightened through laser techniques and with the application of special creams, tapes, and other such products.

Yael Halaas, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Face lift scar

Thank you for your question. While scars will always be present, much can be done to make them as subtle as possible. Facelift incisions can be managed using a multimodal approach:
1) Scar massage - starting as soon as the surgical dressings come off and the incisions are sealed
2) Silicone sheets or scar gels for about six months to year
3) Fractionated lasers to help blend the scar into the background - done as a series, starting about 4 weeks after surgery and repeated every four weeks for six months.
4) Sunscreen to prevent the scars from darkening

Your incisions should be very subtle based on the placement of the incisions, but may need a full 6 months to 1 year to fade.

How Long Does It Take for Facelift Scars to Mostly Disappear

Thank you for your question.  Scars will improve over time over a two year period.  FOllow the advise of your surgeon.  Unfavorable scars can be revised after a year. Best Wishes

How long does it take for facelift scars to mostly disappear?

Hello! Thank you for the question! It is common for scars to fully mature for up to a year. In the meantime, there are a few things that may help to ameliorate your incision/scar. The most proven (as well as cheapest) modality is simple scar massage. Applying pressure and massaging the well-healed scar has been shown to improve the appearance as it breaks up the scar tissue, hopefully producing the finest scar as possible. Other things that have been shown to add some benefit, albeit controversial, are silicone sheets, hydration, and topical steroids. In addition, avoidance of direct sunlight to the incision will significantly help the appearance as they tend to discolor with UV light during the healing process.

If unsightly scars are still present after approximately a year's time, other things that your surgeon may consider are intralesional steroid injections, laser, or just surgical revision of the scar itself.

Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Most Facelift Incisions Heal Nicely

Scarring following facelift surgery varies from patient to patient and is dependent upon a multitudes of variables. These include the type of facelift performed, the wound healing characteristics of the patient and the technical skill of the surgeon.
The surgeon can influence several of these variables, but unfortunately has no control over the patients’ wound healing biology. For these reasons, plastic surgeons make every effort to place scars where they’re well hidden when performing facelifts.
In vast majority of patients these wounds heal nicely and the scars are difficult to see.When wound healing is complicated the scars are often well hidden by incision placement. After surgery scars are often extremely red and raised.With the passage of time these scars usually flatten and lose their redness. This improvement becomes noticeable in about six to eight weeks, but takes 12 to 18 months to reach completion.
Massage and topical agents can sometimes facilitate wound healing and are often recommended in the post-operative period. With these maneuvers most patients are happy with their results, but occasionally a rare patient will require a scar revision.

Scar after facelift surgery

A well performed facelift surgery with minimal tension on skin will leave minimally noticeable incision lines. It takes about 8 weeks to see a smooth incision lines. It should be mentioned that individuals with history of keloid formation or darker skin tend to have more noticeable incision lines. 

Kevin Sadati, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Facelift Scars

The facelift performed by the surgeon with the most expertise, training, experience and patience will leave you with the best results. 
 The facelift procedure involves incisions that skirt the contour of the ears, using the anatomy of the ear to help conceal them. For a full facelift, the incision starts in the sideburn area, follows the contours of the junction of the ear with the face, curves behind the earlobe into the recess between the posterior ear and the neck/scalp, and then extends into the hairline posteriorly at the top of the ear. When I make these incisions, I design them so that, once fully healed, they may be difficult for even a hairdresser to detect. That goal can often be achieved, and it requires meticulous attention to every centimeter of the closure.
Following surgery, many surgeons, myself included will offer complimentary V-Beam laser treatments to help speed healing and minimize scarring.  Most plastic surgeons also make  topical silicone gel treatments available to help minimize scarring. Close monitoring following surgery is imperative. If scars start start to thicken, they can be treated with steroid injection. But early treatment is key.  You don't want to wait until a scar is a problem before you begin receiving treatment  

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.